Helen Kissick, President of Beaver County Chamber on Teleforum today at 10:10 a.m.

(Beaver Falls, Pa.) Tune into Beaver County Radio today, January 13, 2021 at 10:10 a.m. for a special interview with Helen Kissick, President of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce. Helen will formally award the honor of Big Business of the Year to Mark Peterson, Beaver County Radio Owner/Manager.

Helen will also be talking with Teleforum fill-in host Frank Sparks about the different ways businesses in Beaver County can receive aid to help during the Pandemic. Helen will be available to take you questions by calling 724-843-1888 or 724-774-1888. The interview will also be presented on Facebook Live on the Beaver County Radio Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/beavercountyradio

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce President’s Message For October 2020. By Helen Kissick.

BEAVER COUNTY RETAILERS AND CONSUMERS – WE NEED YOU!
October 2020 President’s Message
Together, we enter the last two months of a tumultuous year called 2020. Taking a moment to reflect, and getting ready for the winter months ahead, we have learned quite a bit about how the county’s businesses survive and thrive. Recall earlier this year we said we needed to:
1. Know where all of our small retailers and service providers were located;
2. Prepare and support those businesses to effectively market and sell locally under pandemic restrictions; and Find ways to encourage consumers to shop locally.
So we are thrilled to report status on all three fronts, with good progress made collaboratively thus far, and yet much ground left to cover, which we intend to do WITH YOUR HELP!
  • We now have a working database of Beaver County based businesses, so we can find them and build upon the
    foundation. Click the link HERE to access the database, see if you find your favorite store/service provider, sort by
    category, and discover all that is right here in Beaver County!
  • This month, we are rolling out a marketing campaign called ‘Rooted Locally’, poised to assist businesses to promote themselves and their neighboring businesses, all essentially free of charge to access. YES – FREE OF
    CHARGE to businesses in Beaver County, and with access to printing and development resources if so desired. You’re going to love the tools that are included in this campaign. For a taste of some of it, look at the sample
    material, and stay tuned for a further rollout (or contact our Chamber office).
  • So now we need to drive/encourage consumers to spend dollars locally. There are so many ways that you can and have helped!
  • We just finished our second Car Scavenger Hunt, featuring multiple routes and merchants to encourage local spending in a socially distanced, fun and engaging ways. Check out some pictures of great engagement.
  • The end of year shopping season is upon us. Yes, it’s super easy to go to Amazon or Stich Fix or the many other online out-of-county merchants to find great stuff. Let’s convince and compel you to think about local merchants; imagine if you manage to drive just 25% more of your seasonal purchases to Beaver County based businesses, beyond what you normally would do, then we have a HUGE win for this county, its businesses and its residents. Think of all the positive spin off this could cause – a great ripple: local business does well, owners are able to hire/pay their employees, make a contribution to a local charity, pay taxes to local municipalities, take on more storefronts that may have become vacant or idle, attract workers from local educators or displacing companies, and on and on!

Help us finish the year with a positive BANG! We can do this Beaver County!

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Business Insert – June 2020

Harry Kunselman’s Government Affairs article


 

With all the negativity surrounding he COVID-19, in the limited space available on this insert, the Chamber wanted to focus on some of the shining moments in Beaver County amidst the crisis.  By no means comprehensive, following are some “Silver Linings:”

 

Statistical Victories.  Because Beaver Countians exercised social responsibility, many areas have avoided or minimized infection.  Six zip codes in Beaver County had zero confirmed cases.  Twelve zip codes had 10 or fewer.  As of May 22, 2020, of the 539 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the County, 72% of them are confined to residents or employees of long-term care facilities.  This is not to minimize the tragic effects on those impacted in these facilities; but it is worth celebrating the successes outside these facilities.

 

Charity.  Hard times can bring out the best in people.  Through the United Way and other agencies, tens of thousands of dollars have supported local food programs.  Shell has generously donated to organizations in need, including a program by Shell employees for care packages for lower income families.  These efforts spawned other support for these care packages, including from such donors as the Highmark Caring Place, Serv Pro of West Beaver County, Walmart, Aliquippa Giant Eagle, the Beaver County Association of Realtors, Beverly and Philip Pietrandrea, Beaver Valley Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Alec & Helen Kissick, Spanos Group of Raymond James, and Design Inspirations, to name only a few.  In the coming weeks, you will hear more about this program, including the names of other donors.  Anyone wanting to support this effort should contact the Chamber office at 724-775-3944.  Many thanks to all who support such agencies as the United Way, Beaver County YMCA, Meals on Wheels, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the Salvation Army, the Hugh Lane Foundation, and many more, all to relieve distress among those impacted most severely.


 

Good Government.­  Local officials have been nimble and proactive to manage the crisis.  As examples, the Courthouse has operated safely throughout the crisis, providing essential government services, including critical court operations.  So far, the jail has no confirmed cases– a remarkable accomplishment given the inherent risks of the facility.  The Community Development Program and the Corporation for Economic Development partnered to create a small business assistance program.  Our Beaver County state legislators have all been advocating zealously for Beaver County in Harrisburg, and our U.S. Congressman and Senators have been highly responsive to local needs.  It has been refreshing to see partisanship largely take a back seat to overcoming this crisis.

 

Support for Businesses.  Thanks to a tremendous staff, the Chamber created a COVID-19 resource page on its web site at www.beavercountychamber.com and remains open to assist businesses with navigating the crisis and saving jobs.  The Beaver County banking community has been an unsung hero helping businesses and individuals to access life-sustaining funding.  NBC News Now will feature Beaver County businesses in forthcoming coverage, hopefully attracting people to Beaver County as a place to live and work.  WBVP & WMBA (99.3 FM) have publicized the Chamber’s resource guide made available by My Benefit Advisor to help businesses to prepare for reopening.  These and other efforts are paving the way to emerging from the crisis and restoring prosperity.

 

Future Wins:  We encourage the community to stay tuned for more announcements from the Chamber in support of the community in the coming weeks.  As examples:

 

  • In coordination with Don Williams from TAB Pittsburgh North, the Chamber will launch 3 sessions to help business owners to strengthen their businesses under stressful circumstances;

 

  • The Chamber has been meeting with key stakeholders in the event planning/management business to prepare for a restart of that sector of the economy. Please contact the Chamber if you want to learn more and join this group.  It is open to members and non-members alike;

 

  • The Chamber is working with the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments (COG), Beaver Underground, Brkich Design, Paramount Pursuits, Beaver County Tourism and Minuteman Press to make available a shared database for all retailers open for business. This will launch very soon and will underpin a marketing campaign to help retail businesses to get back on their feet in Beaver County.

 

These are but a few examples of the winning spirit of Beaver County.  The Chamber salutes the private and public sector alike for dedicating themselves to overcoming this crisis.  We urge everyone to keep their resolve so that Beaver County can emerge stronger than ever.

BC Chamber President Helen Kissick’s April Message

Beaver County Chamber President Helen Kissick’s April Message
Who would have thought that a change that is so disruptive to every part of American life would occur, shifting everyone’s focus from routine life and planning for the future to the survival of our businesses and the health and safety of our employees and families. Our world and business climate have come to a significant detour for many, and a screeching halt for others, all due to COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus).
So, how do we deal with it. First of course, we need to protect our people. Second, we need to go into triage to keep our organizations afloat so we can help our members and our communities remain viable during this crisis. Third, we need to provide information resources so that our members and community can survive until longer time help arrives. And finally, we need to be there to help others who are not able to deal with this crisis as effectively as others. The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce and others in the business support and economic development community are committed to provide support for our businesses through this crisis and after it is over. We are in constant contact with our public and private sector partners at the local, state and federal level in monitoring and communicating programs and initiatives
to help business and industry impacted by COVID-19. Our website (www.bcchamber.com) home page now includes a red bar at the top of the page with this message: Beaver County Chamber COVID-19 Update – Click Here to provide easy access to resources. Check back periodically as the resources are changing frequently.
While our physical Chamber office is closed, we remain fully ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’. We encourage members and non-members alike to call the Chamber’s office at 724 775 3944 for questions regarding doing business in this challenging environment. We stand ready to serve, and will continue, especially under these circumstances, to stay focused in our quest to foster the best environment in Beaver County to live, work and do business. You can also reach Chamber staff via email at info@bcchamber.com. Like so many other businesses, our staff is working from home offices now. We’re finding our way in our new reality, and it is our sincere hope that our members continue to reach out to us and each other in support.

The impact of COVID-19 on our many local small businesses is, no doubt, going to be significant. I’m personally fielding many calls from business owners as to how to operate in this environment. There are several key messages I would like to share with you. The first one is that we, together, can continue to make a positive difference in small but significant ways. The graphic below summarizes it well.

Second, our Chamber will be notifying its members through routine electronic communications of upcoming webinars and other information sharing forums. Our aim is for members to be able to pick and choose topics relevant to them in this complex business environment. For small business owners especially, they don’t always have access to expert guidance in a way that is convenient for them, so our
aim is to overcome that hurdle. Topics and presenters will vary, for example, this week we had:

• Make remote work secure, convenient and stress free
• Coronavirus Labor and employment updates
• COVID-19 Resources & Relief for Small Businesses
Our Chamber is well known for hosting a number of high quality, productive, in-person networking events. We’ve been forced to adapt our approach, and as such will not offer face-to-face networking through at least the end of April.

Specific changes include:
• Annual Gala & Auction – postponed from March 14th to August 29th

• Annual Congressional Breakfast, April 7th – canceled
• Spring Luncheon, April 16th – canceled
• Leadercast, May 7th – canceled

  • Breakfast club and lunch-and-learns – canceled through end of April 

We will continue to provide information during this ever-evolving situation as we adjust our events offering.  Stay tuned on further updates via our Chamber website (www.bcchamber.com) or via communications direct with to our membership.  

I’ll close in saying we are your friends and your neighbors, all in this together.  Stay safe and healthy!  

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce President Helen Kissick’s Monthly Message for April

Who would have thought that a change that is so disruptive to every part of American life would occur, shifting everyone’s focus from routine life and planning for the future to the survival of our businesses and the health and safety of our employees and families. Our world and business climate have come to a significant detour for many, and a screeching halt for others, all due to COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus).

So, how do we deal with it…

First of course, we need to protect our people. Second, we need to go into triage to keep our organizations afloat so we can help our members and our communities remain viable during this crisis. Third, we need to provide information resources so that our members and community can survive until longer time help arrives. And finally, we need to be there to help others who are not able to deal with this crisis as effectively as others.

The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce and others in the business support and economic development community are committed to provide support for our businesses through this crisis and after it is over.  We are in constant contact with our public and private sector partners at the local, state and federal level in monitoring and communicating programs and initiatives to help business and industry impacted by COVID-19.  Our website (www.bcchamber.com) home page now includes a red bar at the top of the page with this message:   Beaver County Chamber COVID-19 Update – Click Here to provide easy access to resources.  Check back periodically as the resources are changing frequently.  

While our physical Chamber office is closed, we remain fully ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’.  We encourage members and non-members alike to call the Chamber’s office at 724-775-3944 for questions regarding doing business in this challenging environment.  We stand ready to serve, and will continue, especially under these circumstances, to stay focused in our quest to foster the best environment in Beaver County to live, work and do business.  You can also reach Chamber staff via email at info@bcchamber.com.  Like so many other businesses, our staff is working from home offices now.  We’re finding our way in our new reality, and it is our sincere hope that our members continue to reach out to us and each other in support.  

 

Beaver County Chamber Of Commerce Monthly Message: State of the County Annual Meeting.

“On February 4, 2020, the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce hosted one of its signature annual events, the “State of the County,” at the Fez, with over 200 people attending. KDKA Money and Politics Editor, Jon Delano, moderated, with the Beaver County Commissioners answering questions posed by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and audience members. Because time did not permit asking all of the audience’s questions, the Chamber invited the Commissioners to answer more of them here. Stay tuned for future opportunities to hear from our Commissioners.”

~ Harry F. Kunselman, Chair of the Government Affairs Committee, Beaver County Chamber of Commerce

State of the County annual meeting held at The Fez, 200+ in attendance.
State of the County annual meeting held at The Fez, 200 plus in attendance.

 

From Commissioners Dan Camp, Tony Amadio, and Jack Manning:

Thank you to the Beaver County Chamber, and all those attending the event at The Fez last month, for the opportunity to present our viewpoints and vision on the State of Beaver County. We understand the audience had a few more questions to be asked before running out of time. Here is our response to two of those additional questions from the Chamber:

Commissioner Chairman Daniel Camp and Commissioner Jack Manning sitting for questions at the event.
Commissioner Chairman Daniel Camp and Commissioner Jack Manning sitting for questions at the event.

Question 1: Are you confident in the integrity of the County’s voting and election process for the 2020 elections?

Answer:  We are very confident that the Bureau of Elections Office staff will ensure that the voting process will provide accessibility, accuracy and integrity for voters. The newly enacted Act 77, passed in Harrisburg last year, will also provide residents with more options to register to vote up to 15 days before the elections, and also more freedom to vote via absentee ballot. There should be no excuse for not voting in 2020. And we always encourage everyone to do their civic duty and vote.

Question 2: Tell us about any sustainability initiatives the County is pursuing: storm water reduction, alternative energy, clean waterways, etc.

Answer:  As a Commonwealth, the County has very little control and responsibility for storm water run-off and keeping the waterways clean.  Most of that falls under the purview of your local municipality, the state DEP, and federal EPA. We can and do control County property, and work with the Beaver County Conservation District to mitigate the disruption of the environment. 
We are also, extremely proud of the efforts of our team of County employees who manage our sustainability and waste management programs. Director Holly Vogt and her team have brought in over two million dollars in grants to help with waste management projects and expanding our recycling to include electronics. We are the only County in southwest PA to do so, helping prevent illegal dumping of TVs, etc., along our rural roadsides.  In addition we have our own paper shredding truck that was purchased and paid for with proceeds of paper recycling. We recently expanded by 10 acres the Beaver County Compost Site, that has been praised by the DEP as a model for other counties in the Commonwealth. 
There are plans to explore expansion of our County efforts to include solar panels at various locations and create and education center to promote sustainability for residents and school districts. We have and will continue to partner with business and industry and other groups to move as close as possible toward an effort of zero waste in our County buildings and grounds.
Commissioner Chairman Daniel Camp and Commissioner Jack Manning shake hands at the Annual State of the County meeting.
Commissioner Chairman Daniel Camp and Commissioner Jack Manning.

 

“Drastic” and “Hopeful”. Two Words Used To Describe The Current State of Beaver County At The State Of The County Breakfast on Tuesday Morning.

Story and photos by Mark Peterson

(Hopewell Township, PA) A large crowd of over 200 people gathered at The Fez on a cloudy, drizzly, Tuesday morning to bask in the the warm glow  and comfort that was provided by lots of  positive dialogue as well as the hot, steaming  serving trays of breakfast favorites in the buffet line. This all happened at The annual Beaver County Chamber of Commerce “State of The County” event.  County Commission Chairman, Dan Camp,  and County Commissioner, Jack Manning, offered responses to inquiries from attendees and well as their own thoughts in the forum, which was moderated by Pittsburgh political analyst, John Delano.  Fellow County Commissioner, Tony Amadio, was not in attendance, as he was tending to county business elsewhere.

County Commission Chairman, Dan Camp, County Commissioner, Jack Manning, and Moderator John Delano.

Delano’s first query to the two men was “In one word, describe the state of Beaver Beaver County right now.” Dan Camp said “Drastic”, referring to all the mostly positive,  drastic changes that have happened  in the Beaver County business sector of late.  Jack Manning’s response to the same question was “Hopeful”.  He went on to say how the numerous new business developments already underway, are creating a sense of hope about what the future holds. Manning specifically pointed out how the large investment of St. Barnabas into the county in recent years, gives him an impression that there is a state of hopefulness right now.

Both commissioners touted a “Comprehensive Plan”, that county officials have been formulating for a while and expect to roll it out in earnest later on this year.  Jack Manning stated that one of the key aspects of the plan will be to get true collaboration among county leaders and then speak about and market Beaver County as one unified voice. That is  something that Manning sees happening already, in just his 30th day of office since beginning his first term as a commissioner.

Commission Chairman, Dan Camp, noticed the upbeat mindset among the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce guests at Tuesday’s gathering  and offered this assessment afterwards:

In addition to speaking on the issues of working together and putting forth a unified front, both commissioners talked about the importance of making sure Beaver County gets an accurate count in the upcoming Census, which will commence in April.  Dan Camp said that flyers are being printed and distributed to help make people aware of how important it is to get everybody counted.  Camp further explained that census numbers can affect realignment in government representation because it is based on population. Making sure nobody is missed in the 2020 Census will help ensure that Beaver County gets its fair share of funding allocation for various things, as well as representation in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Helen Kissick, was pleased with the event, and what appeared to be a higher than normal crowd in attendance.

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee Chairman, Harry Kunselman, Beaver County Commission Chairman Dan Camp, Beaver County Commissioner, Jack Manning, and Beaver County Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director, Helen Kissick at Tuesday’s “State of The County” Breakfast at The Fez in Hopewell Township.

To find out more about other upcoming Beaver County Chamber of Commerce events, visit beavercountychamber.com.

 

 

 

 

Beaver County Chamber President Helen Kissick’s Monthly Message

 

President’s Message

Close to a month has already passed since we started this new decade.  Your Beaver County Chamber of Commerce is off to a solid start on its intentions and plans for this coming year, in order to bring the great value to members they have come to expect.  In 2020 we intend to grow our membership from ~550 members at year end 2019 to over 600 twelve months later.

One key ingredient in achieving this goal is to provide top notch quality events and programming, with a blend that suits the need of our varied Chamber membership.  In this month’s column, we will delve deeper in to the various and numerous events and programming offered by the Chamber.  In addition, we’ll let you in on a bit of our secret sauce for driving and retaining membership: our Chamber’s Membership Committee.

 

A quick review of January showcases the breath of Chamber offerings:

  • Jan 8th was the year’s first monthly lunch-and-learn session held at CCBC’s (Community College of Beaver County) new library maker’s space. This lecture followed by Q&A session addressed common causes of low back pain and sciatica and steps to quick and natural healing.  The Chamber will hold lunch-and-learn meetings each month going forward.  Contact the Chamber if you have an interest in presenting a topic!
  • Jan 16th was the Legislative Welcome Reception, held at the Hilton Garden Inn. With a record setting nearly 100 participants, we welcomed local government officials to their either newly elected or re-elected positions.   A picture of elected officials in attendance is shown here.
  • Jan 17th was the 5th monthly session of the 2nd cohort for the Beaver County Leadership The 15 enrolled participants dug deeper into the topics of effective meeting management, financial literacy and leadership in the field of health care.  Soon we will begin to accept applications for the 3rd cohort, ready for launch in September.  This program’s aim is to develop the next wave of leadership in / for our county.
  • Jan 23rd was our Speed Networking event, held at The Lodge at Penn State’s Beaver campus. 50 participants shared their elevator speeches and had the opportunity to strengthen and add to their network.  The room was positively abuzz, and it is likely we’ll plan for another such event later in 2020 given the strong response.
  • Jan 10th and 24th saw Breakfast Club meetings held at the Chamber’s offices in downtown Beaver. Both events had a great turnout ranging from 15 to 20 people, allowing for a more intimate opportunity to network that our smaller businesses in particular express high appreciation for.  Presentation topics were the upcoming census and event marketing 101.

Looking ahead to February and March, in addition to our routine programs, we’re thrilled to offer the following major events:

  • February 4th is the Annual State of the County Breakfast, held at the Fez from 8-10 AM. This event features our Beaver County Commissioners Dan Camp, Jack Manning and Tony Amadio, moderated by KDKA – TV’s Jon Delano.
  • March 14th is the Annual Gala & Auction, held at The Club at Shadow Lakes starting at 5 PM. Get ready to make a splash!  This year will have an underwater theme that is sure to intrigue and please.

Check the Chamber’s website at www.beavercountychamber.com or call us at 724-775-3944 for additional details and other events.

I mentioned earlier that we have some secret sauce! The Chamber’s Membership Committee does a marvelous job at driving new membership and retaining current members.  This committee consists of volunteer members Chairperson Brittney Golden (Hilton Garden Inn – Beaver Valley), Rebecca Miller (Miller Agency), Tracy Plevel (Gateway Rehab), Maria Corradi (Brown, Corradi & Guandolo Wealth Management of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC) & Robert Riggins (World Kinect Energy Services) who are helping Kaitlyn Poleti (the Chamber’s Marketing & Membership Director) to plan and execute key initiatives.  I would like to do a ‘shout out’ to Tracy Plevel, who many of our members know as the person behind the highly popular, short video clips we have been posting on the Chamber’s social media pages.  Check them out!  We appreciate everyone involved in making our Chamber come alive through this creative tool.

It our hope and aim to serve and delight our current and prospective members to the Chamber with all that we offer.  We all remember Fred Rogers asking, “Won’t you be our neighbor?”.  We’ll rephrase for our purposes and say: “Won’t you be our member?”  We invite you to join our / your Beaver County Chamber of Commerce!

This important community update is brought to you by Beaver Falls Municipal Authority, 1st Consultants, Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky, Ambridge Regional Chamber of Commerce, Skerlec Contracting, and NovaCare! 

New President Helen Kissicks monthly message

Ask not what your local Chamber of Commerce can do for you, but what you can do for your Chamber!!

This is a GREAT time in Beaver County to engage in its positive growth and development. In my first column written as the new President of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, I thank you for all that you may have already done, and invite you to further strengthen our combines abilities to deliver on our mission of fostering the best environment in which to live, work and do business. Businesses join the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce as they see value and promise in how it
leads, organizes and drives business / economic/ community development and networking in the Beaver Valley region. But how do members really extract value from their membership? The answer is simple: it’s when they actively engage and connect with other members. Let’s just say this is not a
spectator sport. Jump in to one of our committees, where we collaborate and roll up our sleeves with our members and other like minded organizations, for example:
• Government Affairs: advocates on issue important to the Chamber members and works hard to foster positive working relationships with elected officials at all levels.
• Leadership Beaver County: educates on the most important opportunities, challenges and issues within the region in order to cultivate diverse and well-rounded leaders to carry our community forward.
• Economic Development, with a focus on the Innovation Hub project: to build and operate a community-based destination that provides a proven pathway to job opportunities, mentor-ship programs, low cost co working / flex space and business support resources.
• Pathways (formerly known as E&AMP of Energy & Advanced Manufacturing): connecting students, parents and educators with next-generation career opportunities.
• Chamber Board of Directors: where a diverse cross-section of up to 22 Chamber members are vested in the general governance, finances, procedures and policy-making responsibilities of the Chamber.
The Chamber itself has a small (but mighty!) staff of 4. Over the past 3 months of working with the staff and board on a daily basis, I have learned first-hand how often the phone rings with questions from members and non-members alike about what is happening in our region. This includes people associated with various media (print, broadcast, etc.) asking for insight and commentary on a wide range of subjects. Working days are full with planned work and unplanned diversions and never dull. It
energizes me how this Chamber and its membership are “all in” to help build and promote a community to which residents, business owners, visitors and investors are attracted; to striving to ensure a pro-business climate to anchor future prosperity, to speak as a unified voice of the business community, and to building well-functioning networks to easily connect one another. I personally look forward to finding ways to help our county and its businesses thrive. As I start this new role, I will be out-and-about listening to the many stakeholders in this community to gain a deepened understanding of needs and how the Chamber can engage positively. If you, the reader, would like to learn more about the benefits of becoming a Chamber member, or how our community partnerships and business development efforts are making Beaver County more competitive in attracting and retaining families, employees and enabling economic growth, please visit the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce website at www.bcchamber.com.

 

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce President Jack Manning’s August Message

 

President’s Message: October is National Chamber Month
October is traditionally National Chamber Month. So, it is fitting that in my last official column for the Chamber, we recognize the recipients of our 2019 Business of Year Awards. Once again, among all the outstanding organizations and members of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, these seven awardees stand out for their exceptional contributions as business people and community leaders. They work well beyond their own self-interests, in collaboration with others in the community, to improve the quality of place and lives of all residents in our region. They are committed to making Beaver County and our surrounding region a better place
to live, work and do business.
The Awardees are:
1. Citizen of the Year is Dr. Donald E. Sheffield. Dr. Sheffield, is a graduate of New Brighton High School, received his B.A. in Secondary Education from Geneva College, his Master in Education from Slippery Rock University, and earned his doctorate in Higher Education from Penn State University. He spent most of his career in higher education, including 26 years at Penn State University until his retirement in September of 2002. Dr. Sheffield provides training for corporations, businesses social service organizations and schools. He serves as the Cultural Competency Trainer for the Beaver County System of Care, as well as a consultant in Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency for the business community. In addition, he conducts workshops for parents in maximizing the potential of their children. He is the founder and president of TAME Inc. (Techniques Assisting Motivation and Excellence), a consulting firm dedicated to cultural excellence by helping schools, families, and businesses understand the “practice” of high performance. No one has done more to bring people together, and demonstrate true servant leadership in our community, than Dr. Sheffield. He is a long-time member of the Chamber and we are honored to recognize him as our Citizen of the Year.

2. Entrepreneur of the Year is Christine Cosky. Is the owner and operator of B Well Nation Fitness Center, and is an LLC & ACE certified Group Exercise Fitness Instructor. She is an extraordinary entrepreneur that spans a career as a radio personality and host, a multi-media voice over actor, lecturer, community volunteer and businesswomen. Chris seems to be engaged everywhere in the community in ways that not only enhance our quality of life but uplift our spirits and improve our health. She is a graduate of the first cohort of our Leadership Beaver County Program and is truly a delight to know and work with in any capacity.

3. Small Business of the Year is MGSoft-Net. They are a terrific small business that provides IT infrastructure, web design, development and social media solutions. Founded in 1999, MGSoft-Net has been helping the residents of Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and Northern West Virginia with their business and home computer issues. They are a long-time Chamber members and provider of services to the Chamber office. Bob Bickerton and his team epitomize quality service in a very competitive field of work. Their diverse client and customer base are testimony to why they are deserving of being our Small Business of the Year.

 

4. Large Business of the Year is Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. No organization in our history has had a greater impact on our local arts and entertainment culture than LPPAC. They annually bring over 30,000 patrons to their 750 seat Mainstage and 150 seat Black Box Theaters. Hosting dozens of community organizations and events, they are truly a cherished asset and key part of the economy and quality of life we not only enjoy in Beaver County but across the southwestern Pennsylvania region. Nearly 800 students from 81 school districts and eight counties is quite an impact. The success of their students’ performers majoring in a performance-based program that includes
professional directors, choreographers and technical crews, provides opportunities for Charter School students to shadow and learn backstage production, as well as working with visual and literary arts faculty that provide learning for students in those majors and programs.
5. Energy & Advanced Manufacturing Industry of the Year is Shell Polymers /
Pennsylvania Chemicals Project. Needless to say, no investment by any entity has been as been more impactful on our region than Shell’s world-class polymer plant construction project. They have brought thousands of construction workers, spending billions of dollars to construct, and are generating millions in local commercial and retail sales, new company investments, tax revenue, and charitable community contributions. Setting aside the substantial economic impact, the folks at Shell are a greatly talented and committed group of folks committed to serving the Beaver County region. They participate on multiple community boards, committees and in dozens of volunteer programs. They exemplify what being a good corporate citizen and social responsibility is all about. They are our friends, good neighbors, and the best marketing promotion Beaver County has had in decades.

6. Chamber Ambassador of the Year is Charles Sylak. Charlie is a long-time member of the Chamber and Board of Directors who worked for Westinghouse early in his career and then helped run a family business Shasta, a specialty metals company in Aliquippa. He also worked as a marketing executive with the Levy Marketing Group. Charlie has served and promoted the Chamber tirelessly over the years and is one of our greatest cheerleaders and supporters.

7. Diversity Advancement Award is being presented to Huntington Bank. This new award is a joint effort between the Chamber and the Inclusion, Diversity, and Awareness Council (IDAC) of Beaver County. Huntington Bank has been selected as the first recipient based on their placing importance on bringing banking and hiring practices that ensure our business community values diversity and inclusion in all that we do. The award is a reminder of how as employers, employees and a community, we are much stronger and better as a society when everyone has an opportunity to live and work on an equal basis. All the awardees will be honored the evening of November 7 th at Seven Oaks Country Club. Please contact Michelle Musselman at 724.775.3944 or email info@bcchamber.com for ticket information. The BCCC is the leading business development and networking organization in the Beaver
Valley region, with over 500 members and growing. Our mission is to “lead and advocate for economic growth and community development in order to foster the best environment in which to  live, work and do business”. To learn more about the benefits of becoming a Chamber member, or how our community partnerships and business development efforts are making Beaver County more competitive in attracting and retaining families, employees and enabling economic growth, please visit the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce website at www.bcchamber.com.

This important community update is brought to you by Beaver Falls Municipal Authority, 1st Consultants, Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky, Ambridge Regional Chamber of Commerce, Skerlec Contracting, and NovaCare!